September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, and Ford has announced the Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge. Ford Motor Company will be awarding three grants of up to $70,000 each to U.S. non-profit companies to be used towards the purchase and upfitting of a Ford Transit that would serve as a disaster response vehicle.
“We’re asking for help from the experts on the ground on how to best utilize Ford vehicles following an earthquake, hurricane or other devastating natural event,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Ford’s strength as a mobility company combined with the know-how of dedicated disaster responders can take our efforts to a higher level and help more people.”
According to Ford's website, the grant proposals must contain:
- Background on the nonprofit; specifically related to work in disaster relief. Please include data on the impact and geographic reach of any disaster relief work;
- A description of the overall need and how a Ford Transit vehicle would be used to uniquely service that need, including any special customizations or upfittings;
- Any alternate ways that the vehicle could be used when there is not an active disaster. Or, any possibility of deploying the Ford Transit to other parts of the country that may need disaster relief assistance;
All grant proposals must be submitted through Ford's online grant system. Please review the online grant instructions as well as the Vehicle Grant Program FAQ document for additional information. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. EST on October 31, 2016. For information on the Ford Transit, please visit SmailCommercialTrucks.com.
Now through October 3, 2016, a 1-year free trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio* will be included with the purchase or lease of any Ford Escape, Edge, Expedition or Explorer.
With over 175 channels, SiriusXM radio plays commercial-free music from every genre, sports talk, talk and entertainment, news and issues, comedy, and more.
For more information, contact Smail Ford or visit SmailFord.com.
*SiriusXM audio and data services each require a subscription sold separately, or as a package, by SiriusXM Radio Inc. If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at www.siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change (PGM #12960). For all offers, take new retail delivery from dealer stock by 10/3/16. See Smail Ford for qualifications and complete details.
Ford is teaming up with major cities - starting with San Francisco - to reduce traffic congestion by growing shuttle service and collaborating with bike-sharing provider Motivate to expand its transportation solutions in city centers. The company has announced an agreement to acquire Chariot, a San Francisco-based crowd-sourced shuttle service, and is also establishing a new City Solutions team to work with cities around the world on their transportation needs.
“We’re expanding our business to be both an auto and a mobility company, and partnering with cities on current and future transportation needs is the next major step,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “For more than 100 years, Ford has been part of the community and the trusted source for automotive transportation. Now, we want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people – for decades to come.”
Ford’s acquisition of Chariot, subject to normal customary closing conditions, will serve as the cornerstone for its new global shuttle services business. The shuttle service is expected to be expanded beyond San Francisco to at least five additional markets in the next 18 months. The Chariot shuttles complement mass transit by filling the gap between taxi and bus services – providing an on-demand, point-to-point transportation option that is convenient, efficient and cost-effective. For every one dynamic shuttle that is placed into service during peak travel times, urban congestion could be reduced by up to 25 fewer vehicles, according to a private study for Ford conducted by KPMG.
Bikes are another important mode of transportation for commuters in the Bay Area. Ford and Motivate, the global leader in bike share, are working with city officials to add new stations and increase the number of bikes to 7,000 in the Bay Area by the end of 2018. When it launches next year, Ford GoBike will be accessed by users through the FordPass platform.
Ford also is establishing its new City Solutions team to work with cities on expanding mobility services worldwide as part of Ford Smart Mobility LLC. John Kwant – who has worked with several global cities during his Ford career as part of the company’s government affairs and global strategy teams – has been tapped to lead the effort as vice president, Ford City Solutions. No word yet on when these new initiatives will reach Pittsburgh.
For information about Ford vehicles available, please visit SmailFord.com.
I thought this might be a valuable resource for figuring out which is the right Ford SUV for you. US News & World Report recently released a Ford SUV Buying Guide with a brief review of each SUV that Ford offers. This is a great start for your research into finding out which Ford SUV is the perfect fit for your needs.
Compare the compact SUV Escape with a midsize SUV like the Edge, or a large SUV like the Expedition. Once you narrow your search, stop down to Smail Ford here in Greensburg PA and take a few models out for a test drive.
Visit us at SmailFord.com for more information of available Ford SUVs.
Ford has launched an app called FordPass that will allow you to reserve spaces in parking garages even before you leave for your destination. I downloaded the app myself, and it's pretty simple and straightforward to use. It's a simple and brief process to set up an account, typing in your name, address, email, car and credit card information. Then you simply type in your destination and the app will show you parking garages in the area.
From the main menu screen, you'll want to click the "Park" tab. Next, you confirm that you are not driving while operating the app by clicking, "I'm Not Driving." The app then takes you to a map of your current location, along with a search bar at the top of the screen. For this demonstration, I chose "Pittsburgh, Pa."
You can see a dense collection of parking garages in the Steel City, with blue and white markers highlighting their locations and prices. By swiping and pinching on your screen, you can navigate around the streets to get a better view of the options. Zooming in gives you more details on the map, including street names, points of interest, and even 3D representations of more significant buildings. You can easily see the iconic structures of the Pittsburgh skyline, which is always cool.
By clicking on the white or blue flag, it gives you information about the specific garage highlighted. The white flag shows a garage with spaces available. Here, I've clicked on the "Forbes Garage" and it's showing me the address and "5 Spots Available" in red at the bottom. By clicking anywhere at the bottom, it takes me to even more specific information like directions or reviews, and where I can click "Reserve Parking" at the bottom. You then check out with your saved credit card information, and your spot is reserved.
The app also has a Roadside Assistance feature, and also has a way to link with your Ford Credit account so you can make payments through this app too. But you do not need to have a Ford vehicle to use this app. It's free to download, although obviously you need to pay for parking.
Five determined gamers each raced a Ford GT in the video game Forza Motorsport 6 for 48 hours 29 minutes and 21 seconds to set a new Guinness World Records title for “Longest video marathon on a racing game.”
The new record holders, Cara Scott, 25, from the U.K.; Hélène Cressot, from France; Johannes Knapp, 30, from Germany; Andrea Lorenzo Facchinetti, 42, from Italy; and Jesús Sicilia Sánchez, 23, from Spain, took on a simulated version of the La Sarthe circuit used for the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, where the real life Ford GT race car achieved a historic victory earlier this year.
“They did an amazing job. Just like driving at the real Le Mans, this achievement required extreme levels of concentration, attention to detail, and most importantly endurance – because they had to keep going for twice as long as we did,” said Ford Chip Ganassi Racing driver Stefan Mücke, who competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship in the Ford GT, and started the virtual race.
Driving for 48 hours, 29 minutes and 21 seconds, and completing a combined 41,004 virtual kilometres and 3015 laps, the gamers survived on power naps, sweets and soft drinks as they broke the previous record of 48 hours 1 minute. Their combined 41,004 kilometres is equivalent to driving once around the world. To stay awake for two nights straight, they drank 32 energy drinks, 146 bottles of water and 47 bottles of soft drinks, and consumed more than 3 kilograms of sweets.
For more information about available Ford vehicles, please visit: SmailFord.com
It's like something ripped out of the pages of a science fiction novel, roads full of cars with no steering wheel, no gas pedal, no brake pedal, no driver. Significant research and development has been happening over the last few years, and soon it will be reality, as Ford has announced plans to have fully autonomous vehicles in mass production and operation in five years.
“The next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We’re dedicated to putting on the road an autonomous vehicle that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions of people – not just those who can afford luxury vehicles.”
It appears that Ford is targeting the ride-hailing/ride-sharing services as its first market. Instead of hailing a taxi cab or summoning an Uber driver to get you to your destination, you'll hop into a self-driving car programmed to get from Point A to Point B. This year Ford will be increasing their test fleet of vehicles in California, Arizona and Michigan, with plans to expand again next year.
Check out this video to see these cars in action:
Additionally, Ford is investing in and collaborating with four companies, "expanding its strong research in advanced algorithms, 3D mapping, LiDAR, and radar and camera sensors." Velodyne is the Silicon Valley-based leader in light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors. SAIPS is a computer vision and machine learning company that helps these self-driving cars adapt to their environment. Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC is a machine vision company that works with navigation, object recognition, facial recognition and other functions, with many potential applications. And Ford will be working with Civil Maps to develop high-resolution 3D maps of autonomous vehicle environments.
Ford has been aggressively researching and developing this technology over the recent years, with success. Ford was the first automaker to begin testing its vehicles at Mcity, University of Michigan’s simulated urban environment, the first automaker to publicly demonstrate autonomous vehicle operation in the snow and the first automaker to test its autonomous research vehicles at night, in complete darkness, as part of LiDAR sensor development.
So until you can buy a fully autonomous car for yourself, visit SmailFord.com for available vehicles that come with a gas pedal, brake pedal and steering wheel.
Ford "Ole Yeller" Mustang Shelby GT350 Raises $295,000 at Auction for EAA Youth Education and Aviation
Inspired by famous prop plane "Ole Yeller," Ford designed this one-of-a-kind vehicle for auction at the 2016 Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 – the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. Dubbed the Ford "Ole Yeller" Mustang, the car sold for $295,000, with proceeds going to benefit EAA’s youth education programs. Hank Menke, president and CEO of OFS Brands in Huntingburg, Indiana was the winning bidder.
This is the ninth time Ford has designed an aviation-themed Mustangs for EAA to auction for their youth programs. Over the years, Ford has raised over $3 million collectively with cars like the Blackbird Mustang, a Blue Angels Mustang, and an Apollo Edition Mustang celebrating and honoring the Apollo space progam.
This year's "Ole Yeller" Mustang is bred from a Shelby GT350, featuring a 5.2L Ti-VCT V8 engine with Flat Plane Crank, custom yellow exterior finish with “Ole Yeller” accents and badging, unique carbon fiber components and mirrors projecting images of the aircraft. The interior incorporates specially designed Recaro seats, sill plates, floor mats with unique logos and aviation inspired gauges.
“This year’s one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang honors two aviation greats, the iconic and historic P-51D Mustang fighter plane, and highly decorated fighter pilot, test pilot and air show performer, Bob Hoover, who is referred to by many as one of the greatest pilots ever to have lived,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors. “The Shelby GT350 Mustang, with its nimbleness, speed and aerodynamics, provided us with the perfect platform to create this tribute to the P-51D aircraft.”
“Ole Yeller,” with its bright, eye-catching yellow exterior, is one of the most recognizable P-51D Mustangs in the world. It set the prop plane record for coast-to-coast travel in 1985, a record that still stands to this day. Even though it's currently housed in a museum in Idaho, the plane is still operational and continues to make appearances in air shows across the country. So, someday, you may look into the sky at the Westmoreland County International Airshow and see "Ole Yeller" buzzing overhead.
For more information about Ford Mustangs available, please visit Smail Ford.
Not since Anna Kendrick played a rhythmic, hand clapping game on "Pitch Perfect" has cup-related news been this exciting. The 2017 Ford Super Duty revolutionizes the cupholder game with a new, innovative design that increases the number of cupholders in the vehicle to a mind-boggling 10.
The design is actually quite simple, if you think about it. The front cupholder and storage bin has an added sliding panel that converts the separate storage bin into additional cup holders when needed. And since the Super Duty is primarily a work vehicle, it's often times packed with a crew of workers who now have adequate resting places for their beverages.
“Hard working Super Duty customers love having cupholders and storage close at hand,” says Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “This innovative and transformable cupholder is another insightful example of how the Ford Truck Team knows truck customers better than anyone else.”
But this isn't the first time Ford has looked to improve their cupholders.
Ford has conducted extensive global research around cupholders and customer satisfaction, and earlier this year they released their findings while introducing the redesigned 2017 Ford Fusion. The interior of the new Fusion model has seen the cupholders moved forward, rotated, and redesigned to fit the needs of the customer. “Being dissatisfied with your cupholders may be a minor annoyance, but it’s a daily one, which over time detracts from the overall car experience,” said Jolanta Coffey, Ford instrument panel and console manager.
And since people nowadays use cupholders different than ever before, much more sophisticated thought and effort is going into design. Check out these additional results from Ford's research.
1. Bottles win big
In the U.S., people say drinks in bottles reign supreme. According to a new Nielsen survey, 79 percent of Americans say they use cupholders for bottles. A majority of people – 52 percent – say they typically use cupholders to carry cups of coffee and tea. Ford research also found North American customers use large soft-drink cups more than other parts of the world, and they’re much likelier to drink on the go. In Asia, people tend to bring wide tea bottles into the vehicle.
2. Putting satisfaction within reach – literally
People value cupholders that are within effortless reach. That’s easier said than done – given the range of possible arm lengths and seat positions. For the new Fusion, Ford studied driver ergonomics to balance the needs of as many drivers as possible. By moving the cupholders, designers ensured Fusion cupholders are an easy reach for at least 95 percent of the population.
3. Holding more than cups
Among non-beverage items placed in cupholders, phones by far are the most common. Roughly half say they use their cupholder to store their mobile device, followed by 28 percent who use it for loose change. Food is placed in cupholders by 19 percent of respondents, while 14 percent use it for gum or mints, and 12 percent for wallets. Millennials and teens are much more likely than their elders to use cupholders for non-beverage items. Gender plays a role as well. Men are more likely to use cupholders to store their wallet and change, while women tend to use cupholders consistently.
4. Get a grip
A great cupholder is roomy enough for an extra-large container, yet capable of holding a skinny one without it tipping over. Ford again did its homework, for the first time using its tactical robot arm RUTH to verify the Fusion cupholders, as well as the spring-loaded resistance grips within them, meet customer preferences for resistance and feel. RUTH measured things like how much effort it takes to insert a bottle and how much tension the grips exert as a cup is being pushed down.
5. The three cups
Cupholders must be deep enough to hold taller containers, but shallow enough that you can easily pluck out a small cup. Ford found most cups fall between three basic scenarios: your average half-liter recyclable water bottle, the 20-ounce plastic bottle typically used for juices and sports drinks, and the 30-ounce soft-drink cup found at many fast-food restaurants. If a cupholder can help hold all three, it can likely hold most any cup.